According to illegal Bayrak (18.12.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=lute-continues-with-her-contacts), Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci met again with the UN Secretary General’s Temporary Special Consultant on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute today.
The meeting started at 10:30am and lasted about one hour and twenty minutes. No statement was issued before or after the meeting.
Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci’s spokesman Barış Burcu and his special advisor on diplomacy and EU affairs Erhan Erçin were also present at the meeting.
Issuing a statement after the meeting, Burcu said during today’s meeting Akinci once again found the opportunity to convey to Lute the points which are crucial for the Turkish Cypriot “people”. He also added that the meeting was constructive and detailed.
Illegal Bayrak (18.12.18 http://www.brtk.net/akar-kibrista-egede-ve-dogu-akdenizde-turkiyeye-ragmen-atilacak-hicbir-adima-izin-vermeyecegiz/) broadcast that the Turkish Minister of Defense Hulusi Akar claimed that it is important to resolve the current problems in the Aegean and the Mediterranean “within the framework of international law and good neighborly relations with an approach that favors peace, friendship and cooperation”.
However, he said Turkey will not allow any steps to be taken in Cyprus and the Eastern Mediterranean without its permission and will not allow any unilateral hydrocarbon activities in the Eastern Mediterranean. He also said that there is no chance of survival of the projects that Turkey and the “TRNC” do not participate and they express this on every occasion.
Akar made these statements during the discussion in the Turkish Assembly about the budget of his Ministry where he stated that they follow closely the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean.
“In this context, the Turkish Armed Forces will continue to protect the rights and interests of our country and the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus in the Aegean, in the Eastern Mediterranean, and to guarantee peace and security in line with international guarantee and alliance agreements on the island of Cyprus”, he stated.
Illegal Bayrak (18.12.18 http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=tatar-sends-a-letter-to-guterres) broadcast that the leader of National Unity Party (UBP) Ersin Tatar has sent a letter to the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres on the Cyprus problem.
Tatar’s letter was delivered to the UN officials in Cyprus to be presented to UN Chief Guterres.
In his letter, the UBP leader claimed that if a new process started it will not be open-ended, but should be a result-oriented process.
The letter which demanded that all solution models including a two-state solution be on the table, also underlined the need for determining the international status to be given to the Turkish Cypriot “people” if the new process remained inconclusive.
UBP leader Tatar in his letter also asked from Guterres “to show efforts for the lifting of the isolation and embargoes imposed on the Turkish Cypriot people” and for the establishment of an ad-hoc committee which will tackle the hydrocarbon issue.
On the continuation of active and effective guarantee of Turkey, the letter said “the continued presence of enough and disincentive number of Turkish troops on the island for our security is a sine qua non for us and was accepted as a red line by our party congress.
Turkish Cypriot daily Kibris (18.12.18) reports that the “deputy” with the Republican Turkish Party, Asim Akansoy, criticized the recent statements of President Anastasiades to Euronews regarding the 4:1 formula for sharing the natural gas. Akansoy said that this cannot be accepted in anyway.
“Anastasiades behaves in a contradictory way”, Akansoy stated, since, as he said, on one hand he says that the natural gas should stay out of the Cyprus negotiations and and on the other hand he mankes bargains of the issue, causing public opinion to be concerned.
Akansoy also referred to the visit of the UN Secretary General’s special envoy, Jane Holl Lute, and said that this period is very sensitive as regards the Cyprus problem and Lute’s visit will determine the developments on the problem.
According to illegal Bayrak (18.12.18, http://www.brtk.net/?english_posts=dp-warns-lute), the political party Democrat Party (DP) warned the UN Secretary General’s Temporary Special Consultant on Cyprus Jane Holl Lute that the Turkish Cypriots have no time to waste.
A statement released by the DP press office reminded that the UN Envoy Lute for the sake of starting the negotiations process had launched a new mission which should be respected by the sides. The statement stated that Lute who met with the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades first and Turkish Cypriot leader Akinci after, was planning to stay on the island and continue with her meetings adding that “a shuttle diplomacy has actually started”.
Claiming that it was a risky strategy to expose the Turkish Cypriot side with another open-ended process or with an option of watching the hydrocarbon activities of “South Cyprus” [as he refers to the Republic of Cyprus], the statement read: “Within this scope the Greek Cypriot leader Anastasiades is playing with fire”.
Claiming that it was not the conference but the federal solution which collapsed in Crans-Montana, the statement also read that now the solution models which could be implemented should be discussed piece by piece.
In a commentary under the title: “The ‘TRNC project’ has collapsed’”, in Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.12.18), columnist Sami Ozuslu supports that it became obvious recently that “Turkey’s ‘TRNC project’” has collapsed and the only one responsible for this is Turkey, since it does not want the “TRNC” to be able to stand on its own feet, neither politically nor economically.
The columnist supports that after the “declaration of independence of the TRNC in 1983, the aim of the state was nothing but ‘permanent division’. Everyone knew that there would not be recognition. And the worst is that the Turkish Cypriot federal state has lost all the potentials internationally to become a new state. The Turkish Cypriots fell over to a ‘separatist’ position. Until the 2004 referendum, the perception that the Turkish Cypriot side was the side which did not want the solution in the island prevailed. After the declaration of the TRNC, the Turkish Cypriots were forced to live under isolation including sport embargoes. The TRNC and the Turkish Cypriots were isolated from the world. (…) During the period of the referendum and afterwards, Turkey and the Turkish Cypriots for the first time and after making political changes, got the international community on their side. However, due to the wrong stance of the Greek Cypriot leadership, the division of the island became more apparent. After the opening of the crossing points, the Turkish Cypriots on the one hand acquired their rights deriving from the Republic of Cyprus but on the other hand they were broken off from the world as a community. (…). All ghost efforts for the recognition of the TRNC failed. Ankara stood back from all issues in the international community related to Cyprus and wanted to exclude the Turkish Cypriots from the diplomatic arena. Thus, the Turkish Republic and the Republic of Cyprus reached a point of having official meetings on the highest level. And while this is what is happening in the international platform, the TRNC on the other hand keeps falling to the position of ‘becoming a province of Turkey’. As long as the TRNC is breaking off from the world, the need for its dependency to Turkey increases. Ankara no longer behaves diplomatically on this issue. It rules with the odd model of superior subordinate. Before, it was said that ‘you do not implement the protocol, you do not do this and that’, but now, there is not such a thing. Look, even in the question ‘why does Turkey not sent money?’, none of the high level officials can give a clear answer. The reason is obvious: the TRNC project has collapsed. And together with the world, even Turkey does not believe in this project. What will follow in its place? This is the basic question. There are basically two alternatives in my opinion. Either federation or integration. What is your preference?”, Ozuslu concludes.
Turkish Cypriot daily newspaper Halkin Sesi (18.12.18) reports that the "Press workers' union" (Basin-Sen) in a written statement, called on the so-called government to keep its promise on the issue of the return of Maronites to their villages.
“It is an inevitable necessity the return of Maronites to their villages, since they are considered a part of the Cypriot people and because it is necessary to protect their existence which is under threat, their culture, identity and language”, said the statement, calling on the so-called government to show goodwill and keep the promises it gave on this issue.
The chairman of Basin-Sem, Ali Kismir, stressed further in the statement that although it’s been one and a half years since Turkish Cypriot leader Mustafa Akinci announced, after a meeting held under its “chairmanship”, that they will undertake steps for the “implementation” of a “decision” for the return of Maronites to their villages in the “northern part” of the island, Agia Marina, Assomatos and Karpassia, yet the decision was not implemented. “Apart from the fact that this is a shame against humanity, it became obvious once again that the willpower of the governments in the northern part of the island is limited”, the statement added.
The statement adds further: “We want a Cyprus in which everyone would be able to return to his houseand to be able to live in peace”.
Turkish Cypriot daily Yeni Duzen newspaper (18.12.18) reports that even though there is a remarkable increase on the number of crimes in the occupied area of Cyprus, the number of “police personnel” in the “TRNC” is insufficient.
According to “figures” provided by the “general police directorship”, the number of the “police personnel” in the “TRNC” in 2008 was 1,979 while in 2018 is 2,046, together with the “police staff” which is training. The paper writes that the number of the “police personnel” is insufficient considering that the “TRNC’s population” is 313, 226.
Meanwhile, according to the same figures, the number of “police stations” in the occupied area of Cyprus today has been reduced to 18 from 21 in 2008.
According to Ankara Anatolia (AA) news agency (18.12.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/en/turkey/-turkey-would-back-un-plan-for-new-syrian-constitution-/1341707), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking at the Parliament laying out Ankara’s foreign policy priorities, referred also to the Cyprus problem.
Claiming that the Greek Cypriot side did not cooperate with Turkey’s efforts to reach an agreement on the eastern Mediterranean island, Cavusoglu said that Ankara would henceforth enter negotiations only after the "parameters and framework" of talks were determined. He added that Turkey’s continued presence in Cyprus as a guarantor was a prerequisite for a potential deal. (…)
Noting that Turkey’s position remains clear on hydrocarbon drilling around Cyprus, Cavusoglu added the Turkish Armed Forces would continue to take all necessary measures in the eastern Mediterranean. (…)
On the same issue, AA (18.12.18, https://www.aa.com.tr/tr/gunun-basliklari/disisleri-bakani-cavusoglu-ypg-ve-pkk-ile-sonuna-kadar-mucadelemizi-devam-ettirecegiz/1341666) also reports that Cavusoglu called those who have dreams with zero guarantees and zero soldiers to wake up from their dreams and illusion and give up on them. He added that there will never be such a thing.
On the natural gas researches, Cavusoglu argued that they would start drillings on the plots that were invited by the “TRNC” and in other Exclusive Economic Zones, which were registered at the UN earlier and added: “We also have our drilling vessels. We take and will continue to take all the necessary measures there with our vessels and our heroic soldiers and not only for seismic researches”.
According to Turkish daily Hurriyet Daily News (18.12.18, http://www.hurriyetdailynews.com/fbi-targeting-feto-in-the-us-turkish-fm-139806), Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on December 17, that the FBI has launched nationwide operations against FETÖ, the group that is widely believed to be behind the 2016 defeated coup.
"There is a serious investigation into FETÖ launched by the FBI in 15 states," said Cavusoglu while addressing lawmakers in parliament.
"Moreover, arrests started in some states, including New Jersey," he added, noting that the FBI "started to see the true nature of FETÖ".
Çavuşoğlu said that during the recent G20 summit in Argentina, U.S. President Donald Trump told Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan that they are working to extradite FETÖ leader Fethullah Gülen to Turkey from his long-time U.S. residence in the state of Pennsylvania.
“While meeting with President Erdoğan at the G20, the president did not commit to extradite Fethullah Gülen,” said a White House official, who spoke to Reuters on condition of anonymity on Dec. 17.
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (18.12.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkish-defense-min-sinjar-wont-be-new-pkk-stronghold-3469462), Turkey’s Defence Minister Hulusi Akar said Tuesday that northern Iraq’s Sinjar region will not be allowed to become a new stronghold for the PKK terror group. "We expect the Iraqi government to cooperate with us in ending the separatist PKK terror group’s presence in Iraqi territories," said Hulusi Akar during his budget speech in Parliament.
Akar claimed that Turkey respects the territorial integrity of Syria, Iraq and its neighbours. "However, for the security of the country and the nation, our operations will continue until the PKK terror group has been completely defeated in the locations they exist in Iraq," he said.
Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday said that he told U.S. President Donald Trump that if Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) terrorists are not withdrawn from the east of the Euphrates, Turkey would “remove them”. The military operation east of the Euphrates could start "at any moment", he said at a mass opening ceremony at Mevlana Square in central Konya province. "We can start our operation any moment now in the Syrian territory at any place especially along the 500-kilometer border, without harming the U.S soldiers," said Erdoğan. (..)
According to Turkish daily Yeni Safak (18.12.18, https://www.yenisafak.com/en/news/turkey-remands-in-custody-118-feto-linked-soldiers-3469486), an Istanbul court on Tuesday remanded in custody 118 suspects as part of a probe into the terror group's infiltration of the Turkish army.
The on-duty soldiers were remanded in custody for "being a member of an armed terrorist organization", said judicial sources who spoke on condition of anonymity due to restrictions on speaking to the media. (…)
According to Turkish daily Sabah (18.12.18, https://www.dailysabah.com/diplomacy/2018/12/18/irans-rouhani-to-make-official-visit-to-turkey-upon-erdogans-invitation), Iranian President Hassan Rouhani will arrive in the Turkish capital Ankara on Wednesday for an official visit upon the invitation by his Turkish counterpart Recep Tayyip Erdogan, according to a statement Tuesday by the Iranian Presidential Press Office.
Rouhani will be accompanied by high-level economic and political staff from his cabinet, during the two-day visit.
Erdoğan and Rouhani will chair the Fifth High Council for Strategic Affairs, at which the two countries are expected to increase trade volume to $30 billion. The two leaders are expected to sign important agreements in the fields of economy, politics and culture during the visit. (…)
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